9- Red Title: Predatory Authors:becky_h and baffledking Characters: Jack Harkness and Ianto Jones Fandom: Torchwood Theme Set: Theme Set #LW1 Theme(s): Red Warnings and Notes: Mpreg, Graphic blood and gore, and birth
It had been a long day.
The rift had been, mercifully, peaceful. Nothing more exciting than reports about rogue weevils had come through. Jack had sent the team out to chase them down - Owen with Tosh for the first, and when the second report had come through Ianto with Gwen. He'd stayed at the hub and coordinated.
When they came back, he declined having dinner with him and put his desk in order, instead. He went down to his room for about half an hour, and got things sorted out down there. When it was time to head home, he held Ianto back though, by that point, it probably wasn't necessary.
The others left, probably assuming they were going to fuck.
As soon as the heavy door rolled closed, he said simply and evenly. "Let's drive."
"It's that time?" Ianto grabbed a bag under Suzie's desk.
"That time?" Jack asked, looking incredulous. "No more television for you," he snarked, and headed straight for the garage. He was moving perfectly well, and seemed perfectly calm. For the moment, anyway.
"You mean I shouldn't have been watching pregnancy shows?" he snarked back, following Jack
"I still don't understand what you thought that was going to accomplish." He tossed Ianto the keys to the SUV and walked around the passenger side and got in.
"Mostly reassuring," Ianto got it, put the bag behind the seat, "Where are we going, Jack?"
He fastened his seatbelt and leaned back - pushed back, actually, head back against the seat. "That place of yours. Two hours out?"
"Two hours out," he agreed, heading out onto the road and heading that way, "Can you make it?"
"More than," he murmured, his eyes closed. "Wake me up when we get there."
"Okay,"he promised, driving silently.
When they got to the cottage, Ianto parked the car, then reached out to shake him lightly.
He wasn't asleep. He spent the drive quiet and still with his eyes closed and his breathing even, but he didn't actually sleep, and when the car stopped and went into park he opened his eyes, flashed a grin at Ianto that seemed a bit... distracted, and then got out of the SUV.
'I like it," he announced, about the place.
"I'm glad," Ianto dug his keys out, opening the fence gate for Jack then ushering him up to the door. It was cute and small with roses and a swing.
Jack growled at Ianto when he ushered him toward the door, and gave Ianto a look just inside. "Try to mother me through this, Ianto, and I will rip your god damn eyes out."
"You like my eyes, sir."
"That really isn't the point." He dropped his coat just inside the door.
"What is?" he went to turn on lights.
Jack leaned against the door, and when the lights came up he grimaced and half shielded his eyes. "That there isn't enough like in the world to stop me doing you violence if you're recognizably patronizing. Do you have lamps?"
"...Somewhere," Ianto turned the lights off and found an antique lamp, turning it on and coming back over to Jack, "What do I need to do, Jack?"
Jack shifted so he was resting with his shoulder and hip against the wall instead of the flat of his back. He reached into his pocket, and pulled out a flat box. "Sterilize that thing, and get some fucking plastic down somewhere."
He was tense, and his voice was rough, but he wasn't. Quite acting really distraught.
Ianto took the box and disappeared out the back door. He came back in with a fresh tarp, bringing it to his bedroom. "In here, Jack."
He lifted both his eyebrows. "I'm not going to explode at any given moment, you know." He followed Ianto and helped him, feeling utterly.
"It's been at least two hours. I worry."
His eyelashes fluttered and his jaw set. "I promise, I'll let you know." He got the tarp on the bed, then turned around and sat on it to take his boots and shirt off. "It's actually been most of the day, but you read those books. It should be a while."
"I figured you wouldn't say anything until you were in real labor."
He leaned forward, arms on his knees, and dropped his head. Without the shirt he ripple of muscle contraction up his back was really, really obvious.
"That's a good guess."
Ianto touched his back lightly, then headed to the kitchen to sterilize what was in the box.
It was a scalpel and pair of surgical scissors.
He acknowledged the touch on his back with a low sound, and when Ianto came back was still there, heels of the hands pressed into his eyes.
When he heard Ianto he pushed to standing. "Come on. Give me the tour."
Ianto looked frankly skeptical, but only slightly green, taking Jack's hand and gesturing with the other, "My room." He headed across the hall to a medium sized room decorated in yellow duckies and light wood with a matching crib, changing table, rocking chair, and dresser.
He grinned a little at what was obviously a nursery, and lifted his eyebrow at Ianto. "Duckies?" He realized something, then. "Hey. What about names?"
"What do you want to name it?"
"I really hadn't thought about it," he admitted. "I figured it was best left in your hands." He set the rocking chair into motion with a light touch, and watched it rather than Ianto.
"It's yours, Jack," Ianto said softly, watching Jack's hands, oddly.
He stroked his thumb along the back of the chair and shook his head. "Not really."
"I like your name."
He snorted, and his hand tightened on the rocking chair. "It's not my name."
"What is your name?"
"I don't even remember." HE straightened up abruptly. "Weren't we having a tour?"
He squeezed Jack's hand, leading him towards the kitchen; bright and warm with tiled floors.
He peered in, looked around and nodded. "Bathrooms?"
"In my room and he or she will have his own."
"Great. What are guests supposed to use?"
"The half-bath in the den."
He nodded. "Good." Then he turned around and went back to Ianto's room.
"Why?" Ianto followed him
"Why do you think?"
He went into the bathroom, dropped to one knee and threw up - violently.
Ianto winced, wetting a cloth and putting it on the back of Jack's neck.
He was just. Bad at this.
Jack finished, dragged the wash cloth around and used it to wipe his face, and then stood again. "Why don't you go take a walk or something," he suggested.
"Buy cigars?" he asked sarcastically.
"Pick a name, crochet a blanket, learn to play the." He paused, his teeth gritted and he closed his eyes. "Piano."
"I already play the piano. Jack. Let me help."
He leaned and pressed his forearms and forehead against the wall. "If you tell me to breathe, you're done for," he warned. He actually sounded pretty good natured about it.
"I never made you do Lamaze," Ianto offered.
"You will never know how grateful I am for that." He looked up and flashed Ianto a distant, deeply pained smile. "How likely are you to faint?"
"I'm not a fainter, sir."
"People who turn green faint," he argued. His eyes closed again, he shuddered and there was another wave of nausea with it. He'd gotten used to nausea, and throwing up, and was almost matter of fact when he pushed off, went back to the toilet and puked.
He'd had some experience with the sight and taste of blood, too.
He wasn't exactly expecting the two to go hand in hand.
"Turn the shower on," he said, fairly weakly. "NOW."
Ianto turned it on quickly, starting to freak at the sight of blood.
He flushed, flipped the lid closed and got undressed as matter of factly as he could. "Ianto - you can leave."
"No, I can't," he said, folding Jack's clothes as he got out of them.
"Yes," he said, very precisely. "You damn well can." He finished undressing, cranked the heat on the water up to something that was hot, but without being dangerous, and climbed in.
Ianto leaned against the wall, watching Jack.
Jack closed the shower curtain with a snap of his wrist, then leaned forward against the wall so the hot water was smacking him firmly in the back. He was freezing, he was nauseated, and he was scared out of his wits. In the end, though, he was going to be just fine. He just had to get his timing right, kill himself, die, and come back. He could handle that.
Ianto left and came back with two cups of tea, offering one into the shower.
"You are really feeling useless aren't you?" he asked, through gritted teeth.
"I'm helping." He said firmly.
He took the tea from Ianto, sighed softly and closed his eyes. "Yeah," he agreed quietly. "You are."
"Do you want to do this now?"
"I want you to leave me the hell alone for five minutes and let me try to sort out what's going on with my body!" He didn't really mean that to come out that roughly, our loudly, but as soon as he opened his mouth to answer the deep ache and period cramping turned into something a lot hotter, sharper, more immediate.
Ianto held his hands out then backed out of the bathroom, and well.
At least he hadn't flushed the toilet.
Not that Jack would have noticed. He snarled softly, and the pain kept growing. Shortly after Ianto left, the water pooling around Jack's feet at the drain turned pink and then red with blood.
It kept being washed down the drain, which was just fantastic as far as clean up was concerned, but it was definitely, definitely, not a good sign for Jack.
Especially not standing on wet tile.
When he felt himself get dizzy he made himself turn off the water, and get out of the shower. He trailed blood from the bathroom to the bedroom, where he climbed onto the bed. One knee up, face in the pillow, skin pale.
This wasn't going to get better. It just kept getting worse. His clue that it was time to do something about it wasn't the blood, it wasn't that he was hemorrhaging.
It was that death sounded better than the constant, shredding, agony ripping through his guts.
Ianto rushed back into the room, grabbing the door to stop himself from hurtling through, "What? What can I do Jack? Now?""
"It'd better be," he said, darkly. "Because if it's not, I'm going to kill you."
"Noted." He took a deep breath, then came over, with the scalpel and the scissors. "Good night, Jack." He looked at him before pulling a gun from the bedside table and firing it into Jack's temple. Fast enough, close enough to kill Jack instantly. He gagged, but swiftly got control of himself, using the scalpel to cut Jack open, a sort of appeasiotomy on Jack's ass. He pressed against Jack's stomach, trying to guide the baby down towards the only opening in Jack's body. His other hand slid into Jack's body, trying to feel for a head. He thought, for one, hysterical, moment of fisting before gagging again and feeling hair. He pushed from the outside and guided from the inside, pulling the baby out of Jack's corpse. The baby came out of Jack's slit open ass, bloody and covered with fluids. The umbilical cord, of sorts, was still attached, guiding up into Jack's body, still connected as Ianto cradled the screaming baby for stunned minutes, flat on his ass beside the bed.
Jack had, in no way, been expecting that gunshot.
When Ianto told him good night, he'd looked up and around, and turned into the gun's muzzle. For the one split-second before Ianto fired his eyes were wild, surprised and some complicated mixture between pissed off and relieved.
Then they were just dead.
With the sheer amount of trauma done to his body, he wasn't going to be coming around fast.
For the moment though, the baby was very much alive. Wide blue eyes, five fingers and toes, a thick head full of brown hair and covered in Jack's blood, screaming his head off at the shock of cold air. He looked, frankly, very human.
Except for how very alert and aware his eyes were. Any real examination and the illusion of humanity would fall down. Superficially, though. He was a squawling, flailing, baby boy.
Ianto wrapped the baby in his shirt, holding the baby close to him and touching his face with trembling fingers. He eventually got his shirt together and cut the umbilical cord and then. Waited for Jack to heal.
The baby fussed for a bit bit, until he got a tiny fist into his mouth. He settled after that, sucking his fist and looking around, with huge eyes. Exhausted from being born, warm and held close, it didn't take long for his eyes to get heavy and for him to drift to heavy sleep.
The first sign that Jack was coming back wasn't a sudden gasp. His eyes didn't pop open, and his skin didn't flood with color. It was more subtle than that.
It was way more subtle than that.
His skin tone changed from dead-gray to white so pale it was almost translucent. His pupils contracted against the room's dim light. As sluggishly as the bullet-hole in his temple disappeared, he started to bleed.
Then he took a breath. A shallow breath, that turned into a soft groan as his eyes tried to focus.
"Jack?" Ianto asked softly, a little freaked out at his color.
He blinked, very slowly. He managed to shift his position, uncontrolled and uncoordinated, so that he fell into a sprawl on his back, rather than the half twisted position he'd been in when Ianto fished the baby out of him.
"What did you do to me?" he asked, voice slurred and heavy. Talking was work.
"Got the baby out," he said, trying not to wake up said baby and still not getting it. "Why? What's wrong?"
He closed his eyes again, slowly. He was cold and he was in pain. He was bleeding. He was acutely aware that he wasn't - god he hated that word - pregnant, anymore.
"You shot me, first."
That was the answer.
"I didn't want you to hu-...it's not healing the other. He swore, scrambling and putting the sleeping baby on the bed beside Jack before going and getting pain killers. "Should I do it again?"
"I was bleeding internally before you touched me," he murmured. He turned his head to look at the baby, expression softening a bit. He stroked the baby's cheek with the back of one finger, and half-smiled. "Killing me again won't help."
He looked at Ianto and managed, for just a second, to really focus on his face. "Did you pick a name yet?"
"I like Llewellyn, but you'll never be able to pronounce it. So... Morgan."
"You would go gender neutral, just to keep me in suspense." His lips twitched into a barely there smile. "Boy or girl." He paused. "Or both or neither?"
"He's a little boy," Ianto said softly, stroking Jack's face, "Pills or injection?"
Ianto's hand felt warm against his face; Jack was physically cool to the touch.
He shook his head, just a little. "I'm not in pain, Ianto," he said, softly and gently. He was torn the fuck up, but not really hurting.
"What are you then?" he asked drawing his hand away to let Morgan curl his fingers around one of Ianto's fingers.
"Mostly just tired," he said, and shifted his gaze to watch the baby. "God, he looks so human." he murmured.
"Look at his eyes." Ianto disagreed quietly.
He blinked and drew back just a little to focus. The baby looked back. "They're gorgeous." Jack was still and quiet, his voice low and even.
"Babies can't focus this early. Not human ones," Ianto said quietly, stroking Jack's hand absently.
"Yeah," he agreed. He turned his hand over and squeezed Ianto's hand. "Ianto, sweetheart."
"What?" he asked blankly.
"At the risk of stating the obvious: I'm bleeding to death, the baby's still covered in blood and wrapped up in someone's shirt."
He'd have sounded annoyed if he'd had more energy.
"You're no-" he cut himself off. "Bath the baby and let you sleep until you die?"
He tried to make that sound normal.
"Take care of the baby. Bathe him, diaper him, dress him, feed him, and then wrap him up in a blanket and put him to bed. Come check on me. If I'm not dead, you can keep me company until I die. If I am, grab a nap on the couch."
He was trying to shiver, he realized. His heartbeat felt and sounded too loud. He was giving Ianto simple, explicit directions.
Ianto dragged a blanket from the closet, pulling it over Jack's body and kissing him softly before scooping up the baby and bringing him to the baby's bathroom, movements mechanical and sequential.
He washed the baby, speaking softly in Welsh to him as he cried at the surprise changes in temperature when Ianto got him out of the shirt. He bathed him carefully, supporting his head, and dressed him in a diaper that seemed too big and a onesie before feeding him infant formula, burping him mechanically and laying him down to sleep. Ianto sat down hard on the floor, still covered in blood and leaned back against the crib, eyes closed and listening to the baby breath for long minutes.
He rolled to his knees before standing and heading back to his bedroom.
Jack wasn't on the bed, and neither was the tarp, or the blanket Ianto had left him with. Ianto's bed was perfectly clean. It was even made.
The floor was another matter, altogether.
The plastic was on the floor on the far side of the bed. It hadn't entirely contained the blood, though it had done a pretty good job of it. There was a definite blood trail between the bed and the bathroom. There was a single, perfect, bloody hand-print on the wall beside the door. Red and perfectly complete in contrast to the paint.
The bathroom door itself was just a little ajar, and the lights were out.
Jack had put gotten himself out of Ianto's bed, done a not-bad-for-a-dying-man job of making sure Ianto had somewhere clean and comfortable to sleep.
Then he'd staggered to the bathroom, curled up with the already ruined just by touching him blanket on the tiled and easier to clean floor, and died.
"I'm going to kill him," Ianto said softly, absently, touching Jack's face to make sure he was still dead, then cleaning up the tarp, throwing it in the trash outside, then coming back and scrubbing the floor.
He stayed down for a while, but even then it was a matter of hours, not days.
When he came around it was to the smell of cleaning solution; he gasped, then he sneezed. He waited for his eyes to focus, then sat up and started peeling the blanket off. It had gotten fairly well stuck. Dried blood was such a bitch.
"Get in the shower and I'll find clothes."
He grunted, and more or less crawled into the tub and turned on the shower, closed the curtain and turned it on.
"Have you slept at all?"
He stayed there, scrubbing himself under hot water, until he was clean, and until he felt mostly human again.
Ianto left coffee on the bathroom counter and was sitting on the bed, holding the baby next to a set of clothes for Jack.
He came out of the bathroom damp, with the first cup of coffee he'd had in six months, and a towel around his waist. He stopped in the doorway and watched Ianto with the baby, over the rim of his mug.
"I"ll take that as a no."
"I'll sleep later," Ianto said absently, stroking the baby's face in some sort of wonder. "I'm sorry, Jack."
Jack didn't take his eyes off Ianto as he took another slow drink of his coffee.
"I thought you'd heal."
"I should have been a lot more clear, and your intentions were good."
"Are you okay?"
Under any other circumstances, Jack would have either said 'fine' or made a joke. It wasn't the right thing to do now, for a whole assortment of reasons. He almost did, anyway.
Then he finished his cup of coffee, and set it down on the dresser.
"I'm sore," he admitted, and it wasn't quite the right word, but it wasn't a deliberate avoidance or lie, either. He came over and sat, carefully, on the bed beside Ianto. "I'll be okay, though."
"What can I do?" he asked carefully.
He leaned over, head tilted a little, to look down at the baby's face. "About me being sore?" He sounded confused.
"Yes," he said like it was obvious.
"Don't shoot me again," he joked, softly. He reached over and slid his hands gently under the baby, one under his head, one under his ass, and took him from Ianto.
Ianto's fingers twitched for a moment before letting the baby go to Jack. "I won't."
The baby startled a little when he was moved, and his face started to crumple like he was going to cry. "Shh," Jack soothed, absently.
The baby's eyes fixed on Jack's face and he just. Forgot to be upset.
"You should have named him Frank," he murmured to Ianto, but he didn't look away from Morgan.
For long, long, moments Jack just held the baby and looked at him. It was almost creepy the way the baby looked back. Both of them just quiet, and still, and reflective. The baby recognized Jack's voice, even the smell of his skin, through hot water and soap, and was trying to imprint. Jack was just saying good-bye.
"Why?" Ianto asked, watching both of them.
He stayed there for another moment, then forced himself to look away. He lifted the baby instinctively to rest against his chest, when Morgan started to whimper. The baby settled again, thanks to body warmth and Jack's heartbeat.
"I need to get back."
"Now?" Ianto asked softly.
"Yeah," he said, softly. He shifted the baby in his arms so he was able to pass him back to Ianto, without quite doing it yet.
Ianto cradled the baby carefully without taking him from Jack, "We're going to be here, Jack."
He leaned forward and kissed Ianto - on the cheek. "Thank you," he said, simply. Then he let the baby go, to Ianto, looked down and touched its chin with his thumb. "Be good for your dad, kid."
Then he look his clothes, and left.
Ianto curled up with the snuffling baby, and fell asleep, protective and cold. Morgan's dad. That was what he had and he could do that.